As shown in foot-note on a previous page, Sir John Power, Knight, 3rd Baron Power and Coroghmore, entailed his estates upon the heirs male of his body; failing such, upon the heirs male of his father; and, failing such, upon the heirs male of his grandfather (Post Mortem Inquisitions). He died 8th Nov., 1592, leaving, by his wife, the Lady Elenour FitzGerald of Desmond - with a younger son, the Hon. Piers Power, of Rathgormyke and Clondonnel, Esq. (of whom I shall treat presently), an elder son and heir, Richard Power, the 4th Lord, who died 8th Aug., 1607, leaving, by his wife, the Hon. Katherine de Barry (with an elder son and heir John, father of the 5th Lord Power), a 2nd son, the Hon. Piers Power, of Monolargie and Graigrush, Esq. This gentleman married the Lady Katherine Butler, 4th daughter of Walter, 11th Earl of Ormond, by whom he had a son and heir, Piers Power, of Monolargie Esq., who was attainted on account of the rebellion in 1641. He had issue a son and a daughter; the latter, Elenour Power, married Edmund Power, of Gurteen, eldest son of Piers Power, of Rathgormyke, Esq., (of whom hereafter). The son John Power, of Monolargie, Esq., was a Colonel in the service of James II. was Mayor of Limerick during the Siege; he was attainted in 1688. In 1701, on the death of James Power, 8th Lord de le Power and Coroghmore, and 3rd Earl of Tyrone, Colonel John Power, of Monolargie, became the heir male of the body of Richard, the first Lord, being the great-grandson of the 4th Lord, through his 2nd son, as shown above. Owing to his attainder, however, he could not take his seat in the House of Peers. He died in Paris, where he is supposed to have been murdered by his servant, when in about the 80th year of his age, on the 20th August 1725. He was commonly called "Lord Power". He married and had an only son, Henry Power, 10th Lord Power and Coroghmore (de jure). He petitioned for the Curraghmore estates, as heir male of the body of the 3rd Lord, upon which petition the Lords Stanhope and Farrington made a favourable report to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. The petition, however, was denounced as "bold and dangerous," and a counter petition was made by Lady Catherine Power and her husband, Sir Marcus Beresford, calling to mind the attainder against the claimant's father, Colonel John Power, and his grandfather, Piers Power, of Monolargie; also setting forth that such claims might prove dangerous to the Protestants of the country, who held their estates under the Act of Settlement. The result of this opposition was that Henry's petition never came to a hearing. He died, unmarried, in Dublin, in May 1742, and is buried in St. Matthew's Church, Irishtown, Dublin. Administration was given to his sisters, Charlotte and Clare, 5th December 1743. With him the line of Monolargie, originating in Piers Power, 2nd son of the 4th Lord, became extinct, and the Barony of le Power and Coroghmore devolved upon a descendant of Piers Power, of Rathgormyke and Clondonnell, 2nd son of the 3rd Lord, and therefore uncle of Piers Power, of Monolargie, who, in 1742, at the death of Henry, 10th Lord, was John Power, of Gurteen, de jure 11th Lord, as heir male to the body of Richard, the first Lord, who consequently was entitled, as well as his heirs male forever, "to have and to hold the estate, degree, title, name, and dignity of Baron de le Power and Coroghmore." "Habendum et tenendum eadem statum, gradum, titulum, nomen, et dignitatem prefato Ricardo et Heredibus Masculis de Corpore suo Exeuntibus in perpetuum."
Before I proceed to show the descendants of Piers Power, who established the House of Rathgormyke and Clondonnell, out of which the Gurteen House arose, and to trace the heir male of the body of the first Lord to the Gurteen family, a perusal of the petitions of Henry Power, and of Sir Marcus Beresford and his wife, the Lady Catherine, will interest those who have thus far followed the fortunes of this remarkable and honoured family. They are here given in full, and are worthy of a careful study.
An Humble Address to the King by the Irish House of Commons, 1717.
To the King's Most Excellent Majesty
The humble petition of Henry Power, Esq., sole son of John Power, commonly called Lord Power,
That your petitioner's father having forfeited for life his right and title to the estate of the late Earl of Tyrone, by an act of Parliament that no Papist should inherit a Protestant's estate.
That your petitioner, then a minor in France, came over pursuant to an order from the late queen, who was graciously pleased to get him naturalised, and give him a pension upon the Irish establishment to enable him to be bred up a Protestant, thereby to be qualified to inherit the said estate and honours of the late Earl of Tyrone, as his next heir male.
That your petitioner, having and still resolving to remain true both to the Protestant religion and the succession of the illustrious House of Hanover.
Therefore your petitioner humbly begs your Majesty to give the necessary direction to your chancellor and attorney of your kingdom of Ireland, to inspect in the said your petitioner's right and title to the aforesaid estates of the late Earl of Tyrone, that upon obtaining a favourable report he may [when of age] enter in possession of his said right and title, having recourse to your Majesty as the fountain of all honour and justice.
And your petitioner shall ever pray.
Our very Good Lord,
We having received from the king a petition of Henry Power, Esquire, son of John Power, commonly called "Lord Power," concerning the estates which belonged to the late Earl of Tyrone, we herewith by his Majesty's command transmit to you the said petition, recommending him to your grace that he may have countenance and protection of the Government in Ireland as far as conveniently may be, and that you will cause his right and title to the said estates to be examined into, and thereupon report to us your opinion what you think fit for his Majesty to do therein.
We remain, our very good Lord,
Your Grace's most humble servants,
STANHOPE, TORRINGTON, GEO. BAILLIE
25th September, 1717.
To his Grace the Duke of Bolton,
Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.
To the Rt. Honble. The Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses in Parliament assembled. The Humble Petition of Sir Marcus Beresford, Bart. and the Lady Catherine, his wife.
That the Right Honble. James, late Earll of Tyrone, deceased, father of the petitioner Catherine, being seized in fee of a considerable estate in this kingdom, made his last will and testament, and thereby devised to the petitioner, Catherine, his only child, after the death of the Right Honble. the Lady Tyrone, your petitioner's mother. That notwithstanding such disposition, Henry Power, Esq., son of John Power, commonly called Lord Power, who was indicted and outlawed on account of the late rebellion in the kingdom, under pretence of being the next male heir to the said Earle, has lately petitioned his Majesty therein setting forth that his said father had forfeited for life his right and title to the estate of the Earle of Tyrone, by an act of Parliament passed in this kingdom that no Papist should inherit a Protestant's estate. That he was brought out of France, pursuant to an order from her late Majesty, and was naturalized, and obtained a pension upon the establishment of this kingdom, to enable him to be bred a Protestant, thereby to be qualified to inherit the estate and honours of the late Earl of Tyrone, and prayed his majesty to give necessary directions for inspecting his right and title, having recourse to his Majesty as the fountain of all honour and justice, but in his said petition took no notice of the attainder of his said father on account of the late Rebellion in 1688, or of the attainder of his father on account of the Rebellion in 1641. That the said Henry Power thereupon obtained a reference to his Grace the Lord Lieutenant, whereby he was required to cause the said Henry's right and title to the said estate to be inquired into, who, in pursuance thereof, has referred the same to his Majesty's attorney and solicitor-general of this kingdom, to report the facts to His Grace.
That your petitioner apprehends the design of the said Henry Power in obtaining such order of reference can be no other than the hopes he may conceive of obtaining his Majesty's gracious favour and allowance, to apply to this honourable house for heads of a bill to reverse his father's and grandfather's attainders, whereby others, under the same circumstances, may be encouraged to make the like attempts, which, as your petitioner conceives, would very much tend to weaken the titles of the Protestants of this kingdom, who hold their estates under the Acts of Settlement and Explanation, and the sales of the last trustees, and prove of dangerous consequences to the Protestant interests thereof in general.
May it therefore please your honours to take the premisses into your consideration, and to do therein as in your great wisdom you shall think proper, and your petitioners will ever pray, &c.
The foregoing petitions were presented to the House by Mr. Dopping, 5th December, 1717, read, and referred to a select committee, who made the following report: -
Your committee appointed to take into consideration the petition of Sir Marcus Beresford and the Lady Catherine, his wife, have taken that matter into consideration, and come to a resolution same, which is as follows: - "Resolved, that is the opinion of this committee that the petitioners have proved the allegations of their petition to the satisfaction of the committee."
The committee was composed of the following: -
To the King's Most Excellent Majesty.
The Humble Address of the Knights, Citizens and
Burgesses in Parliament Assembled.
We your Majesty's most dutyfull and loyal subjects, the Commons of Ireland in Parliament assembled, being deeply sensible of your Majesty's care of the welfare of your faithfull subjects of this your kingdom, and of the serenity they enjoy, in all their sacred and civil rights under your gracious protection, do with great humility approach your royal throne to represent to your Majesty the fatall consequences which will inevitably follow from the reversall of any of the outlawrys of the rebellious Irish Papists.
We beg leave to lay before your Majesty that the greatest part of the titles which your British and Protestant subjects of Ireland have to their estates, are derived under the attainders for the Rebellions in 1641? and 1688. And, as the Irish by the forfeiture of their estates became less able to put in execution their treasonable designs, so by corrupting the blood of their nobility, and by depriving them and their posterity of their hereditary titles and honours, by force of the outlawrys for high treason, they have had lesser power and credit with their followers to lead them into rebellion.
And this was so well understood, that no outlawry of any person guilty of the Rebellion of 1641 was reversed untill the time of the government of the late Earl of Tyrconnell [Richard Talbot], about the year 1687, when the design to extirpate the British and Protestant interests, and so as to establish Popery as the national religion, was openly and avowedly declared.
We do with the greatest gratitude acknowledge that since your Majesty's auspicious reign no outlawry for either of the Rebellions of 1641 or 1688 has been reversed, but a very bold and dangerous attempt having been lately made by Henry Power, son of John Power, commonly called "Lord Power," as we conceive towards the reversall of his ancestors, indictments and outlawrys for both rebellions, we cannot on this occasion but in duty to your Majesty and our country, humbly and with the greatest submission represent that it will be of the most fatal consequences to your faithfull subjects of this kingdom, if any such application should succeed, or even meet with the least encouragement, and we rely on your Majesty's wisdom, justice, and goodness, that no favour so dangerous to your crown, and so destructive to your good subjects, will ever be obtained from your royall clemency.
We beseech your Majesty to be assured that it is our zeal for the safety of your government, the peace and security of this your kingdom, and the faithfull discharge of the trust reposed in us by those we represent, which have obliged us thus earnestly to implore your royall protection, grace, and ffavour, on which your faithfull Commons will entirely depend.
Endorsed. - Address to the king, against reversing outlawrys. Reported by Mr. Dopping, 7th December, 1717, and agreed to by the house with some amendments.
Henry Power, 10th Lord Power and Curraghmore (de jure), had equitable and just claims to the estates and honours of James, 3rd Earl of Tyrone, and, having been bred up a Protestant, was not subject to the penal act of Parliament, that "no Papist should inherit a Protestants estates." The Deed of Entail of John, the 3rd Lord, was never broken, and Henry Power, the claimant, was the great great great grandson of that Lord, and moreover was the heir male of the body of the first Lord, and also of the 3rd Lord. His father was recognised as Lord Power, after the death of James, 3rd Earl of Tyrone, by those who, though unfortunate in the cause which they had espoused, were yet met of noble blood, descent and renown, and distinguished for their military attainments, their probity and honour.
The petition, however, of Henry Power created so much alarm among the representatives of the Grantees under the Act of Settlement, that an overwhelming opposition was made to it, and it never came to a fair and impartial hearing.
Henry Power, de jure 10th Lord Power, "died intestate and unmarried, May, 1742, and was buried at St. Matthew's Church, Irishtown (Ringsend), Dublin. Administration was granted to his sisters, 5th Dec., 1743. Upon his death, the whole male descendants of Richard, 4th Lord Power, became extinct, and the representation of the 1st Lord Power devolved on the heir male of Pierce Power, of Rathgormack, the brother of the 4th Lord" (to whom I referred at the beginning of Part IV.), viz., John Power, of Gurteen, in the Co. Waterford, and of Grange, in the Co. of Galway, who then became 11th Lord de jure.
To make this statement clear, it will be necessary to trace the descendants of Piers Power, of Rathgormyk and Clondonnel, Esq., the second son of Sir John Power, the 3rd Lord, and younger brother of Richard, the 4th Lord, to whom I have already referred more than once. He died on the 25th May, 1597, leaving, according to the Post Mortem Inquisition, a son and heir, Richard Power, of Rathgormyke and Clondonnel, Esq., whose death occurred at Rathgormyke, in February, 1635. He was buried at Mothel, leaving by his wife Elenor, daughter of William Butler, of Ballyboe, five sons and a daughter, viz., (1) John Power, of Rathgormyke and Clondonnel, Esq., who married Elenour, daughter of Donald McGrath, of Mountain Castle, Esq., died with male issue; (2) Piers Power, the second son, of whom presently; (3) James Power, a Captain in the Spanish Service; (4) William; (5) Edmond; and Honora, wife of Edmond Power of Curraghkiely, of the Kilballykiltie.
Piers Power, Esq., the second son, married Margaret, daughter of Nicholas Lee, Esq., and widow of Henry Power, of Adamstown, County Waterford (whose third husband was Richard Strange, of Waterford, Esq.), by whom he had four sons, viz., (1) Edmond Power, of Gurteen, whose descendants I shall presently show; (2) John Power, of Gurteen, afterwards a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army of Lewis XIV. and wounded at Argenteau. Edmond Power, of Gurteen, Esq., married Elenour, sister of Colonel John Power, of Monolargie, de jure 9th Lord Power and Curraghmore, and had several sons, of whom John Power, of Gurteen, was the eldest surviving. After the death of Henry, 10th Lord, in 1742, he became de jure 11th Lord. He served in the French Army under his uncle Colonel John, de jure 9th Lord. He was commonly called Sir John Power. He is mentioned in Dalton's King James' Army List, as John Power, Lieut. Colonel of the 33rd Regiment of Foot, with Sir Michael Creagh, Colonel, and Theobald Bourke, Major. He married Mary, youngest daughter and co-heiress of Richard Power, of Ballindrimmy. The marriage took place in December, 1703; she died in August, 1726, predeceasing her husband, who died at Grange in the County of Galway, in 1743, leaving only three daughters, viz., (1) Elizabeth, the youngest daughter and co-heir, who married on the 13th April, 1739, her first cousin, Edmond, of Gurteen, de jure 13th Lord, and died 1752; (2) Hellen, wife of Hyacinth Cheevers, of Nygane, Lord MountLeinster and (3) Catherine, who married in 1733, John Power, of Clashmore. At the death in 1743 of John Power, the 11th Lord de jure, his brother William Power, of Gurteen, succeeded as 12th Lord, but died in August, 1755, s.p., and was succeeded by his nephew Edmond, son of his brother James Power, of Curraghkiely, by Mary, daughter of William Higgins, of Gortardagh.
Edmond Power, of Gurteen, de jure 13th Lord le Power and Curraghmore, as heir to his uncle William, the 12th Lord, married his cousin Elizabeth, youngest daughter and co-heir of John Power, the 11th Lord, as already shown, and had two sons, (1) William Power, of Gurteen, de jure 14th Lord, who was born in 1740 and died at Ballydine in 1813, leaving no issue by his wife Mary, daughter and heiress of Captain Walter de la Mar, of Porterstown; (2) John Power, of Gurteen, Esq., second son of Edmond, 13th Lord, married, in 1773, Johanna, eldest daughter of Thaddeus O'Meagher, of Drangan, representative of the Princes of Ikerrin. She died 3rd January, 1801, and was buried at Rathgormuck. The issue of this marriage were three sons and a daughter, (1) Edmond, the eldest, of whom presently; (2) James; (3) William; and Honora, wife of William Talbot, of Castle Talbot, County Wexford, Esq.
Edmond Power, of Gurteen, Esq., succeeded his Uncle William, as 15th Lord, born 1775. He died on the 29th May, 1830, and was buried at Mothel, leaving with other issue, an elder son and heir John Power, of Gurteen, Esq., J.P., D.L., and M.P. for County of Waterford, de jure 16th Lord, whose eldest son and heir is Edmond de Poher de la Poer, J.P., D.L. for the County of Waterford; M.P. for that County from 1866 to 1873, and High Sheriff, 1879 - 80. He was created a Count of the Roman States in August, 1861, with remainder to the male issue of his body for ever, and is a Knight of Saint John of Jerusalem (Malta), and, who, as heir male to the body of the 1st Lord, claims to be Lord Power and Baron of Curraghmore. He married in June 1881, the Hon. Mary Monsell, daughter of William, Lord Emly, of Turvoe, and has issue three sons and two daughters.
I have now traced the male descendants of the 1st Lord Baron de le Power Coroghmore, through the different lines in order of seniority, and shown significantly clearly the extinct branches, and the transmission of the heirdom to the succeeding line, until it became vested de jure in the Gurteen House.
Reverting for a moment to Richard, the 6th Lord, who died a Jacobite prisoner in the Tower of London, 1690, [and whose father would undoubtedly have been attainted and transplanted on account of the rebellion of 1641, but for his being afflicted by God], it is worthy of note that he was a colonel of foot in the service of King James II. and yet was not attainted, as was his 2nd cousin, John Power, of Monolargie, commonly called "Lord Power," also a colonel in James's army. The 6th Lord's two sons, John and James, succeeded to the title and estates, in spite of their father's Jacobitism, which in the case of the petition of Henry, de jure 10th Lord Power, was shown to be the cause of the attainder of his father, Colonel John Power. Why was not the 6th Lord attainted also, joining in arms, as he did, with James II? for which so many others lost their hereditary rights?
The fact that the attainders against Piers Power, of Monolargie, Esq., in 1641 and against his son, Colonel John Power, for the part he took in 1687, were alleged as arguments against the petition of Henry Power, Esq., in 1717, proves undoubtedly that his claim was founded on right and justice, for the question then arises - Were those attainders legal, and was it just that he should suffer for the actions of his father and grandfather, he himself having taken no part in the Civil Wars of 1641 and 1688 In reference to these disturbed periods in the history of a land seldom free from strife and contentions of parties and classes, the following passage will be sufficient to show how high the feeling of loyalty ran on both sides in the days of the Jacobite and Williamite campaigners, and if "La Fortune de la Guerre" favoured the latter, it was contrary to the principles of fair play to brand their brave foes as outlaws and rebels for upholding the cause they loved and considered just:-
"While England and Scotland considered themselves justified in preferring William as their sovereign to James, in Ireland the great mass of the population, or those of Anglo-Norman or Old English, and those of Milesian descent, thought that they were at least as well entitled to retain James for their sovereign as the English and Scotch had been to reject him. On strictly constitutional grounds, or viewing the Monarchy in the three kingdoms, not as elective but hereditary, the Irish, in adhering to James, regarded themselves as loyalists, and looked upon the English and Scotch, for deposing him, as rebels. If by a recognised axiom of British law, "the King can do no wrong, anything deemed so being chargeable upon his ministers as evil counsellors, and to be visited with punishment not of him, but of them, in order to deter others from acting similarly, ought not such a course of ministerial impeachment and chastisement have been adopted with respect to whatever had been objectionable in the Government of James, instead of expelling him from the throne, to say nothing of his son the Prince of Wales, who, as an infant, had unquestionably done no wrong?"
Putting out of the question in toto the confiscations and attainders under the Cromwellian rule, which being the acts of an acknowledged usurper were in themselves illegal and unjust, the attainders inflicted on the brave men who upheld the cause of James II. honourably and heroically were acts of tyranny inflicted on noble though defeated foes, and hereditary titles and birthrights could not in the eyes of justice become dead letters thereby. For this reason therefore, though the attainder on Colonel John Power, of Monolargie, deprived him for life of his right and title to the estate of the 8th Lord and 3rd Earl of Tyrone, it did not in the slightest degree affect the legality of the claim of his son Henry, who was de jure the heir male of the body of Richard, 1st Lord de le Power and Coroghmore - an estate, degree, title, name, and dignity which was to be transmitted to the heir male of his body for ever, and which at his death passed, in 1742, to John Power of Gurteen, the grandson of a man - Piers Power of Rathgormyke and Clondonnel - whose only political offence was resistance to Cromwell - a regicide and usurper of the rights of others.
A memoir of the Power family would by no means be complete or exhaustive, without a more detailed account of Lord Arnold de Poer, Baron of Kells, who, in spite of his influence and wealth, fell a victim of the age in which he lived. Before relating the story of his imprisonment, however, and the causes which led up to it, perhaps it will be well to show his exact descent from Sir Robert de Poher, the first of the name in Ireland. At the beginning of this historical sketch, he is casually referred to, and his descent from Walter de Poher, Lord of Dunbratyn and Rathgormyke, and Feya D'Eincourt is given; but, according to some authorities, his direct ancestor was John, elder brother of Walter aforesaid. This Walter was certainly either a son or grandson of Sir Robert; and as I shall proceed to point out, the probability is that he was a grandson, being the second son of Sir Robert. Although Giraldus Cambrensis, in his very complimentary notice of Roger Poer, "the young and beardless, yet withal lusty, valiant, and courageous gentleman," does not in any way show his connection with the Irish patriarch of the family, Sir Robert; nevertheless, two of our most trustworthy authorities on old family descents, viz., Lodge and Playfair, show him to have been a younger son of Sir Robert de Poher. O'Farrell, in his Linea Antiqua, ventures a supposition that he "was likely the brother or one of the sons "of Sir Robert, Lord of Waterford, 1177. Now, as Sir Robert, Lord of Waterford, was the founder of the Donoyle and Kilmedan House, and Carew says "out of this house all the Powers of Ireland and the FitzEustaces descend," the conclusion necessarily to be drawn from O'Farrell and Carew, is that Sir Roger was a younger son of Sir Robert, Lord of Waterford, in no way can the four authorities quoted, Lodge, Playfair, O'Farrell, and Carew, be reconciled in their statements. Lord Arnold's descent is traced by Lodge and Playfair from Sir Roger through his elder son John, and not from Walter, of Dunbratyn, who was his second and younger son, and whose line became extinct in the person of Mathew Poer, heir to Eustace, Lord Poer, who was summoned to Parliament as Baron, A.D. 1295. As shown in the early part of the memoir, Bennet de Poer, son of Walter of Dunbratyn, was Lord of Grace Castle in right of his wife Margaret, daughter of William le Gras [Grace], and as Lord Arnold inherited Grace Castle, he must have been heir to Walter, son of Mathew, who succeeded to Eustace Lord Poer as already shown, and which Walter died issueless. This Walter was the great grandson of Bennet de Poer, and Margaret Grace, and with him the issue of Walter of Dunbratyn became extinct, and his lands, including Grace Castle must have passed to Lord Arnold. The early part of the Power pedigree requires some slight alteration to define clearly the Curraghmore line, and the following revision is correct, and tallies with the various authors quoted. Sir Robert, Lord of Waterford, had four sons, viz.:
1. Sir John de Poher, Baron of Donoyle, eldest son, who inheriting the great possessions of his father, established himself at Donoyle, a castle on the seacoast, built there by Sir Robert, in all probability, soon after the Conquest, to guard his newly acquired grants.
2. Sir Eustace de Poher, Benefactor to the Dominican Monastery of St. Saviour's Dublin, who probably took the cowl and died without issue.
3. Sir Roger, and (4) Bartholomew, who continued the English line. Sir Roger, the son, who married a niece of Sir Armoricus de St. Laurence [ancestor of the noble House of Howth] and probably daughter de Tristram, and Cecilia his wife, and had two sons, John (of whom presently) and Walter, Lord of Dunbratyn and Rathgormyke, who is placed as a son, instead of a grandson, of Sir Robert in the early part of the memoir, and whose line, as already shown, became extinct in the person of Walter, his great grandson. Besides these four sons, Sir Robert had a daughter Elenor, wife of Sir Alexander de Raymond, Knight of the Hall, Co. Wexford. In the Redmond Pedigree, she is called the daughter of Richard Poer, but as there was no Richard Poer at so early a date, it is probable Richard is a clerical mistake for Robert, and an error occurred in making her the daughter of Walter of Dunbratyn. John, the elder son of Sir Roger, was living in 1197, and from him the Curraghmore House derived its origin. It is probable that Sir Robert granted to his son Roger, Curraghmore and the manor thereof, and that either he or his son John built the castle of Curraghmore. The following is the pedigree as given by Lodge. Robert, Lord of Waterford, had a son Roger, who had a son John, living 1197, whose son Mathew, was father of Eustace, who died 1311, who had a son Arnold, who died in 1328, leaving a son Robert, whose son Eustace was father of Mathew, direct ancestor of Richard Poer, Lord of Coroghmore, who died in 1483. Playfair agrees with Lodge in all the generations down to Robert the son of Arnold, whom he makes the father of Mathew, who had a son Richard, father of Nicholas, summoned as Baron in 1375, whose son he states was Richard who died in 1483. Playfair is palpably wrong in this part of the descent, because, as already shown, the Hose of Curraghmore derived only in the female line from Nicholas, the Baron in 1375, through the marriage of David Poer, grandfather of Richard, Lord of Coroghmore, who died in 1483 with Elenour, his daughter. The correct pedigree therefore of the Curraghmore line, after thus sifting the authorities on the subject, is clearly defined thus. Sir Robert, Lord of Waterford, had a third son Sir Roger, whose eldest son John, living in 1197, was succeeded by his son Mathew. This Mathew had a son Sir Eustace, who about the year 1300 was granted the barony of Kells in Ossory. From a younger son of this Eustace, the FitzEustaces originated. His eldest son and heir was Arnold, the Lord Arnold of whom so many entertaining records exist. He was Baron of Kells, and seneschal of Kilkenny, and it was he who took a prominent part against Edward Bruce, and not John de Poher, 5th Baron of Donoyle, as accidentally appears stated in the account of that chieftain. By his wife Agnes, an heiress who had dower A.D. 1337, he had two sons, the younger of whom Robert was Treasurer of Ireland in 1327, and the elder Eustace, his heir, succeeded as 3rd Baron of Kells. As already related in the early pages of the memoir, he was hanged as a traitor A.D. 1345, and his vast estates confiscated, of which, however, those in the County Waterford were restored to his heir. The Barony of Kells was granted to Walter de Bermingham "because he took a great part with him (the king) against the Earl of Desmond, with the aforesaid Lord Ufford, which barony belonged some time to Eustace Poer that was drawn and hanged at the Castle of the Island." For a fuller account of him, the reader is referred to the back pages of the memoir. By his wife the Lady Mathilde de Bermingham, he had a son Mathew, whose only son David Poer married Elenour the daughter of Nicholas Poer, Baron of Donoyle and Lord of Kylmydan, who sat as a Baron in Parliament in 1375, and three times afterwards. By this marriage there was a son Nicholas, whose son Richard Poer Lord of Coroghmore, was sheriff of Waterford, and died in 1483. From him the line has already been distinctly and clearly deduced down to the Lady Katherine Power of Curraghmore, wife of Sir Marcus Beresford, Bart. and to the different houses of Rathgormyke, Clondonnel, Monolargie, and Gurteen.
Having thus shown Lord Arnold's descent from Sir Roger, and that of the house of Curraghmore from him, the following startling and full account of his dispute with the Earl of Desmond, and of his trial for witchcraft and sorcery, will doubtless be a valuable adjunct to this sketch: -
"The story of the feud between the first Earl of Desmond and Sir Arnold is told by all our Annalists. The Knight had mortally insulted the great chief of the Western Geraldines by calling him 'a Rhymer,' in some public assembly. Although the later Earls of the house of Desmond were remarkable for their acquirements, and their patronage of learning, during very ignorant ages, and in an unlettered country (for instances the fourth Earl was styled 'the Poet,' and the eighth, besides being able to write his name, founded two colleges), yet the soubriquet of 'Rhymer,' so publicly given to the first Earl, enraged him, being the term the Englishry were accustomed to apply so contemptuously to a Gaelic fhiledh or bard. This story is borne out by printed records. Writs were issued on the 28th of June 1326, to Le Poer and Maurice FitzThomas (Desmond) commanding them to desist from congregating men-at-arms for the purpose of attacking each other. In the following year, FitzThomas and John, Baron of Donhill, received permission to treat with the felons of their separate families, surnames, and followings; and the sheriffs of the neighbouring counties, were ordered not to arrest the said felons. All these royal writs were, however, of no avail; for soon afterwards the defamed lord assembled his forces, plundered and burnt the countries belonging to Le Poer, in Ossory, Kells, and Offa, so that the old Baron [presumably Sir Eustace, the first Baron of Kells] and his son Sir Arnold were forced to take refuge in the city of Waterford - and when the latter sailed to England, in order to complain to the king - his enemies took advantage of his absence by laying waste 'everything belonging to him.' The quarrel probably originated in a more serious cause than the bestowal of a nickname, viz., in depredations committed by numerous and predatory 'Poerines' in Lord Desmond's Barony of Decies. It was in the following year, 1328, that a still more formidable enemy arose to Sir Arnold in the person of the Bishop of Ossory, who brought a charge of heresy against him."
The following is a full and true account of the charge, the trial, and its results: -
It was late in the twelfth century when the Normans landed in Ireland as conquerors, and before the end of the thirteenth that portion of the island known as "the Pale" was already covered with flourishing towns and cities. The County of Kilkenny, attractive by its beauty and by its various resources, was one of the districts first occupied by the invaders, and at the period of which we are speaking, its chief town, also called Kilkenny, was a fortified city, commanded by a strong castle, and inhabited by wealthy merchants, amongst the most important of whom was William Utlagh, a rich banker and money lender.
William Utlagh married the Lady Alice Le Kyteler, by whom he had a son William, and died sometime before 1302. His widow, who appears always to have retained her maiden name, re-married with Adam Le Blond, of Callen, who died before 1311, for in that year Lady Alice was the wife of Richard de Valle; and at the time of the following narrative (1324) she was the wife of Sir John de Poer, her fourth husband.
In the year of grace 1324, Richard de Ledrede, being Bishop of Ossory, and the Lord Arnold de Poer, Baron of Kells, Seneschal of the Liberties of Kilkenny, the former making a visitation of his diocese "found by an inquest in which there were five knights and other noblemen in great multitude, that in the Citie of Kilkennie there had long been, and still were, many sorcerers, using divers kinds of witchcraft; to the investigation of which the bishop proceeded, as he was obliged by duty of his office, and found a certain rich lady, called the Lady Alice Le Kyteler, the mother of William Utlagh, with many of her accomplices, involved in various such heresies." Those implicated with the Lady Alice were the son William Utlagh, Robert of Bristol, a clerk, John, Helena, and Sysok Galrussyn, William Payn of Boly, Petronilla of Meath, and her daughter Basila, Alice, the wife of Henry the Smith, Annota Lange, and Eva, of Brownstown; and the following charges were brought against them: -
First - In order to give effect to their sorcery they were accused of totally denying the faith of Christ and of the Church for a year or month, according as the object to be attained was greater or less, so that during the stipulated period they believed in nothing that the Church believed, and abstained from worshipping the body of Christ, from entering a church, and from participating in the Sacrament.
Second - That they propitiated the demons with sacrifices of living animals, which they divided member from member, and offered, by scattering them in cross roads, in a certain demon called Robin Filius Artis, who was "one of the poor class of hell."
Third - That they had by their sorceries sought counsel and answers from demons.
Fourth - That they used the ceremonies of the Church in their nightly conventicles, promouncing, with lighted candles of wax, sentences of excommunication even against the persons of their own husbands, naming expressly every member from the sole of the foot to the top of the head, and at length extinguishing the candles with the exclamation, Fie! fie! fie! Amen.
Fifth - That with the intestines and other inner parts of cocks sacrificed to the demons with certain horrible worms, various herbs, the nails of dead men, the hair, brains, and clothes of children which had died unbaptised, and other things, boiled in the skull of a certain robber, who had been beheaded, on a fire made of oak sticks; that they had made powders and ointments, and also candles of fat boiled in the said skull, with certain charms, which things were to be instrumental in exciting love or hatred, and in killing and otherwise afflicting the bodies of faithful Christians.
Sixth - That the sons and daughters of the four husbands of the Lady Alice Le Kyteler had made their complaint to the bishop, that she, by such sorcery, had procured the death of her husbands, and had so infatuated and charmed them, that they had given all their property to her and to her son, William Utlagh, to the perpetual impoverishment of their own sons and heirs; in so much that her present husband, Sir John de Poer, was reduced to a most miserable state of body by her powders, ointment, and other magical operations; but he, being warned by her maid servant, had forcibly taken from his wife the keys of her boxes, where he found a bag filled with the detestable articles enumerated, which he sent to the bishop.
Seventh - That there was an unholy connection between the said Lady Alice and the demon called Robin Filius Artis, who sometimes appeared to her in the form of a cat, sometimes in that of a black shaggy dog, and at others in the form of a black man, with two tall and equally swarthy companions, each carrying an iron rod in his hand.
It is added by some chroniclers that her offering to the demon was nine red cocks and nine peacocks' eyes, at a certain stone bridge at a cross road; that she had a certain ointment with which she rubbed a beam of wood, called a coulter, upon which she and her accomplices were carried to any part of the world they listed, without let or hindrance; that she swept the streets of Kilkenny betwixt compleine and twilight, raking all the filth towards the doors of her sonne, William Utlagh, murmuring secretly with herself these words:-
To the house of William, my sonne,
Hie all the wealth of Kilkenny town -
And that in her house was seized a wafer of consecrated bread, on which the name of the devil was written.
Upon hearing these charges the Bishop of Ossory required the Lord Chancellor, Roger Utlagh, then Prior of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, and a kinsman of William Utlagh, to issue a writ for the arrest of the accused persons. Instead of complying with this demand, the Prior of St. John of Jerusalem, together with Lord Arnold de Poer, at first endeavoured to persuade the bishop from proceeding further in this matter, but the latter, determined upon bringing the accused to trial before his court, refused to do so. Thereupon the Prior informed him it was contrary to custom to issue a writ of the kind until the parties had been regularly proceeded against according to secular law, and declined granting the required document. This refusal on the part of the Prior did not deter the bishop, who at once decided to act on his own responsibility. He therefore sent two "apparitors," with a formal attendance of priests, "to the house of William Utlagh, and cited the Lady Alice, who was then residing with her son, to appear before him. This citation Lady Alice and her accomplice thought well to obey, and, submitting themselves to the bishop, they abjured and accepted penance." But their repentance was not of long duration, as they "were very shortly afterwards found to relaps." Thereupon the sentence of excommunication was pronounced against Lady Alice by the bishop; and as her son, William Utlagh, persisted in sheltering her, he was summoned before the Ecclesiastical Court, charged with harbouring one under the ban of the Church. But William Utlagh, having powerful friends, refused to obey the citation, trusting to their influence for protection against the bishop. Amongst the number was Lord Arnold de Poer, who at once repaired to the Priory of Kells in Ossory, where the bishop was then making a visitation, and endeavoured with all the persuasion in his power, to induce the bishop to desist from his proceedings against William Utlagh. All the eloquence of Lord Arnold Poer was of no avail, the bishop turning a deaf ear to his appeals. At last, irritated beyond measure by the fruitless success of his mission, he left the bishop's presence breathing threats of vengeance against him. Nor were these threats mere idle words on the part of Lord Arnold: for the next morning, as the bishop was about to enter the town of Kells, to continue his visitation in other parts of his diocese, he was seized, according to the seneschal's orders, by Stephen de Poer, Sergeant of Iverk, one of his officers, having under his command a body of armed men, and carried to Kilkenny, where he was imprisoned in the castle, and there detained until the day had passed upon which William Utlagh had been summoned to appear.
The incarceration of the bishop caused great excitement, and much sympathy was both expressed and shown for him. Multitudes of all classes visited him, bringing him food and what comfort they could. These demonstrations of sympathy did not tend to mitigate the ire of Lord Arnold; neither were his feelings softened by the requests diligently spread abroad that he had been bribed by William Utlagh to act as he had done towards the bishop, and it was even pretended that one of his guards had been overheard to say to a fellow soldier, "That fair steed that William Utlagh presented last night to our lord, Lord Arnold, draws well, for it has already drawn the bishop to prison." He therefore, not only ordered the bishop to be more strictly confined, prohibiting the admission of any visitors, save some of the prelate's more particular friends and servants, but also caused a proclamation to be issued calling upon all who had any complaint against the bishop to come forward and state their grievances; and at an inquest held before the justices itinerant, many serious crimes were laid to his charge. No one, however, with the exception of William Utlagh, had the courage to proceed against him.
Meanwhile the bishop placed the whole diocese under an "Interdict."
William Utlagh now proceeded to the archives of Kilkenny, and from thence produced a deed of accusation made some time previous against the bishop, by which he was charged with having defrauded a certain widow of the inheritance of her husband.
When the accusation contained in the deed was made public, the bishop's friends insisted that the document produced was not the original, which had been cancelled, the case having been taken out of the secular court; and they further asserted that William Utlagh had caused a copy to be made concealing the evidence thereof, and that he had rubbed the document produced with his shoes, in order to give the copy the appearance of an old deed. The document was, however, delivered to Lord Arnold, who then offered to release the bishop on condition of his bringing forward sufficient bail to appear and answer the charges contained therein. This the bishop refused to do, and after having been detained in prison for 18 days, he was unconditionally set at liberty.
On being released the bishop went forth in triumph from his prison, arrayed in full pontifical robes, and again immediately cited William Utlagh to appear before his court. Ere, however, the appointed day had arrived, the bishop received a royal writ, requiring him to appear without delay before Roger Utlagh, Lord Justice of Ireland and Prior of St. John of Jerusalem, under penalty of one thousand pounds, to answer for having placed his diocese under an interdict, and to make his defence against the accusations of Lord Arnold de Poer; at the same time the bishop received a similar summons from William de Rodyeard, Dean of St. Patrick's, to present himself before him as the vicarial representative of the Archbishop of Dublin. To these citations the bishop made answer that it would not be safe for him to journey to Dublin, as the way lay through the lands and lordships of his enemy, the Lord Arnold de Poer; he, however, relieved his diocese from the interdict.
On the Monday following the octaves of Easter, the Lord Arnold de Poer, as Seneschal of the Liberties, was holding his court in the Judicial Hall of the City of Kilkenny. Thither the bishop determined to proceed, and there publicly demand the assistance of the secular arm to aid him in seizing the persons accused of sorcery. Being informed of the bishop's intention, Lord Arnold sent to forbid his entering the court at his peril. The bishop, nothing daunted, "robed in his pontificals, bearing the Body of Christ in a vessel of gold," and attended by a numerous retinue of ecclesiastics, presented himself before the tribunal. The temerity thus shown by the bishop raised the wrath of Lord Arnold to the highest pitch, who then not only overwhelmed the bishop with reproaches and insults, but ordered him to be ignominiously ejected from the hall. Against this summary proceeding the bishop loudly appealed, when at length, by his protests, joined with the intercession of some influential persons, he was permitted to re-enter the court. Upon doing so, however, Lord Arnold ordered him to take his place at the bar allotted for criminals. Upon this the bishop cried out "That Christ had never been treated so before since He stood at the bar before Pontius Pilate." He then called upon Lord Arnold to have the persons accused of sorcery arrested and delivered up to him, and upon the seneschal refusing to comply, he held up the Book of Decretals, saying, "You, Lord Arnold, are a knight, and instructed in letters, and that you may not have the plea of ignorance in this place, we are prepared to show in these Decretals that you and your officials are bound to obey our order in this respect under heavy penalties." To this address Lord Arnold hotly made answer, "Go to the church with your Decretals, and preach there, for here you will not find an attentive audience." But the bishop, far from being intimidated by this reply, at once read aloud the names of the accused, specifying the crimes laid to their charge, and once again calling upon the Seneschal to have them delivered up, retired from the hall. The seneschal now cited the bishop to appear before the parliament about to be held in Dublin. Thither the bishop proceeded, and reached the capital after narrowly escaping divers plots laid by his enemies against his life.
From the Parliament the bishop received but little sympathy, many prelates even showing slight interest in his cause, and by some he was spoken of as a "truant monk from England," who came to represent the "Island of Saints" as a nest of heretics. But his perseverance was equal to his courage, and after contending with many difficulties he finally overcame the numerous obstacles placed in his way, and obtained the arrest and imprisonment of those who had been accused of sorcery, with the exception of the Lady Alice Le Kyteler, who, aided by her friends, made good her escape. "This business troubled all the cleargy of Ireland, the rather for that the lady was supported by noblemen: and lastly conveyed into England, since which time no man wotteth what became of her." Yet it is to be observed, although most Irish historians mention the disappearance of the Lady Alice, John Clyn, who at that time was a friar in Kilkenny, asserts she suffered death for heresy, and says, "she was the first ever known to suffer for that crime in Ireland."
On the prisoners being brought to trial and found guilty, some were publicly flogged through the marketplace of Kilkenny, others were expelled the diocese, while Petronilla of Meath, after having received six floggings, made a public confession of most of the charges brought against the Lady Alice and against herself, including all whom the bishop had entered into proceedings against, as accomplices of the Lady Alice. In her confession Petronilla asserted that "in all England, perhaps in the whole world, there was not a person more deeply skilled in the practices of sorcery than the Lady Alice Le Kyteler, who had been their mistress and teacher in the art." After this Petronilla was carried outside the city of Kilkenny, and there burned to death before the people."
The bishop now again proceeded against William Utlagh, whom he caused to be summoned before his court held in the Church of St. Mary's, in Kilkenny, and answer the accusations previously brought against him - that of having harboured and concealed one charged with sorcery. "Armed to the teeth with all sorts of armour," and accompanied by a formidable body of men, Utlagh appears before the bishop's court, and demanded a copy of the charges brought against him; which extended through thirty-four chapters, and as no one dared to attempt his arrest he remained for some time at large. Later, however, he appears to have allowed himself to be arrested and imprisoned, and he was "held nine weeks in strict durance, and then, at the suit of the said Arnold Le Poer, to the higher powers was delivered," with the sanction of the bishop, by whom he was enjoined, as a reparation for his conduct, to roof the whole of the Cathedral of Kilkenny with lead, from the steeple eastwards, including the chapel of the Blessed Virgin.
The bishop having thus far succeeded in vindicating his slighted authority, now turned his attention towards Lord Arnold de Poer, who throughout had proved himself one of his most strenuous opponents. The bishop not only accused him of heresy, but also passed the sentence of excommunication against him, and even obtained a writ by virtue of which the seneschal was arrested and confined in the prison tower of the Castle of Dublin, and when Roger Utlagh, Lord Justice and Prior of St. John of Jerusalem, ventured to interest himself on behalf of Lord Arnold, the bishop openly accused him of heresy and of aiding and abetting the seneschal with his advice and council. In order to "purge himself of this charge," the Privy Council ordered on the petition of the prior, a "publick proclamation to be made for three days, that if any person had a mind to prosecute the said justice they should have protection with freedom and safety to do it. But no person coming forward, the king's writ was issued at the request of the prior, to assemble the peers, bishops, abbots, priors, and mayors of the four cities, viz., Dublin, Cork, Limerick, and Waterford, and also the sheriffs and seneschals, the knights of the shires, and the principal freemen of the City of Dublin." Before this parliament, the prior of St. John of Jerusalem represented that the proceedings of the Bishop of Ossory against the Lord Arnold de Poer "were partial and unjust," that the bishop was favouring a kinsman of his own who had a quarrel against the seneschal, and that, therefore the prior, by interesting himself on Lord Arnold's behoof "had only supported the cause of the oppressed." Upon hearing the Prior's statement the Parliament appointed a committee of six, composed of William de Rodyeard, Dean of St. Patrick's, the Abbot of St. Thomas's, the Abbot of St. Mary's, the Prior of Christ Church, Mr. Ellis Lawless, and Mr. Peter Willeby, to enquire into the matter. The witnesses summoned to give evidence before this committee were separately examined, "and every one of them made oath, that the Justice was orthodox, a zealous champion of the faith, and ready to defend it with his life." The committee having reported the result of their investigations, the Parliament solemnly acquitted the Prior of the charges preferred against him by the bishop, and in commemoration of his declared innocency, Roger Utlagh "prepared a sumptuous banquet for all his defenders."
The Parliament now proceeded to examine into accusations brought by the bishop against Lord Arnold. While the investigation was yet pending, the imprisoned seneschal breathed his last A.D. 1328, and dying under the sentence of excommunication "long laye unburied" in the Dominican Monastery of St. Saviours, in Dublin. It is probable Lord Arnold's remains were received into this monastery out of respect for the memory of his father, Lord Eustace de Poer, Baron of Kells, who had been a benefactor to St. Saviours, and in 1340 had laid the foundation stone of the new choir of the church, which had been accidentally destroyed by fire.
Lord Arnold, besides holding the Barony of Kells in Ossory, and having possessions in the County of Waterford, was likewise lord of the Manors of Kilmehide, Ballyhavenan, Tylagh, Ballytarsin, Boneston, Burgage, Aleynstown, Gracecastle, Croban, Moytober, and Garth, in the counties of Kilkenny and Tipperary; and in the county of Kildare. He was Lord of the Manors of Castlewarny, Ughterard, Contyberbeg, and Lynestown. By Agnes his wife Lord Arnold left a son and heir called Eustace, Knight of the Golden Spur, who in 1331? Married the Lady Matilde de Bermingham, daughter and co-heiress of Sir John de Bermingham, Earl of Louth. Eustace joined Maurice FitzGerald, Earl of Desmond, in his rebellion, and being taken prisoner while defending the Castle of the Island, one of Desmond's strongholds, he was hanged by order of the Lord Justice d'Ufford. His possessions were then confiscated, and the Barony of Kells was granted to Walter de Bermingham. Subsequently, however, his Waterford and Louth possessions were restored to his heirs.
And now as to Richard de Ledrede, Bishop of Ossory. About a year after the tragic end of Lord Arnold, namely, in 1329, an accusation of heresy was brought against him by his metropolitan, Alexander de Bicknor, Archbishop of Dublin. The Bishop appealed to the Holy See, and fled the country; there upon his temporalities were seized into the king's hands. In 1331, at the intercession of one of the cardinals, a writ was issued for his restitution, on condition that he should submit himself in person to the king. With this condition the Bishop appears to have complied in about 1339. Ten years later (1349) having excommunicated Walter de Bromley, Treasurer of Ireland, and having called the Chief Justice of the Common Pleas in open court "a false traytor," his temporalities were again confiscated to the crown; but by "false suggestions" he succeeded in obtaining the king's pardon; but in 1351 "the king revoked and made void his pardon; because he had been subtily circumvented and deceived in granting it." However, about the close of the year 1354, he made his peace with the king, and being received into favour "passed the remainder of his life in great tranquility." Bishop de Ledrede did much towards the embellishment of his cathedral, and obtained permission from the king to demolish three churches without the walls of Kilkenny to build an episcopal palace, which he built at his own expense near the cathedral; at the same time he erected an altar in the cathedral dedicated to the three saints, the churches founded in whose honor he had demolished. Richard de Ledrede died at a very advanced age in 1360, having been forty-two years Bishop of Ossory, and was buried at the Gospel side of the high alter in the Cathedral of Kilkenny.
Interesting as the foregoing account of Lord Arnold undoubtedly is, most of my readers will agree, I think, in allowing that a veritable ghost commands more respect and attention than meddlers in magic in the middle age are entitled to in the nineteenth century; and therefore, I will lay before them in its entirety the Ghost Story of the House of Curraghmore. It speaks for itself, and needs no comment here: -
John, the7th Lord Power and Curraghmore, (rest of ghost story fits in here)
He was succeeded by his brother James, as third Earl, of whom I have treated.
Besides the Donoyle and Curraghmore Houses, there were many other branches of the Power family, notable amongst which I may mention the following: -
1. Carrigphilip and Kilbolane, deriving from Donoyle, the representative of which in the 17th century was Captain David Power, of Kilbolane, and "transplanted" during the Commonwealth, and whose son, Colonel John Power, was M.P. for Charleville in 1689, was attainted as a Jacobite, and, following King James to France, died at St. Germains in 1692, and lies buried there. His son David was High Sheriff for county Galway in 1711, and at his death left an only daughter and heiress, Frances Power, of Corheen, who married, in 1701, Richard Trench, of Garbally, and had issue a son, William Power Keating Trench, of Garbally, created Baron Kilconnell in 1797, Viscount Dunlo in 1801, and Earl of Clancarty in 1803.
2. Carrigaline, Corbenny, Knocklehane. This family sprung from Piers Power, of Carrigphilip, the second son of Nicholas Power, Baron of Donisle and Shela, daughter of Sir John FitzGerald, of Dromana. Piers Power, of Carrigphilip, was father of Sir Pierce Power, of Carrigaline, Knight, who married Elizabeth, daughter of Roger Boyle and sister of Richard, first Earl of Cork. They had three sons - Major Roger Power, Richard Power of Carrickaline, and Piers Power of Ballyhane. Major Roger Power, of Knocklehane, and Corbenny, County Cork, the eldest son, in 1645 defended the Castle of Lismore, with 100 of the tenants of the Earl of Cork, his Uncle, against the Earl of Castlehaven. All his powder having been spent, he capitulated upon honourable terms, 500 of the besiegers having been previously killed. After the Restoration he was granted lands in the County Wicklow. By his wife, Miss Mansfield (who was probably a member of the old Norman family of Mansfield, of Mandevil, or De Mandeville, of Ballinamultinagh, County Waterford), he had a son, Piers Power, of Knocklehane, whose sons - Roger, Piers, and Milo - were attainted in 1691. Nothing is known for certain of their descendants, if any: nor of the descendants of Richard Power, of Carrickaline, brother of Sir Roger, further than his grandchildren. If the descendants of Sir Roger and his brother Richard are extinct, the representation of the House of Donoyle would devolve upon the representative of Piers Power of Ballyhane, the youngest brother of Sir Roger, who now is Mr. George Beresford Poer of Ballyhane and Belleville.
3. Knocklahan, Affane, Ballyhane, and Belleville. These Houses sprung from Piers Power, of Ballyhane, third and youngest son, as already stated, of Sir Piers Power, of Carrickaline, and his wife, Elizabeth Boyle. This Piers Power, of Ballyhane, married Grace, daughter of Nicholas Osborne, of Cappagh, and was father of Nicholas Power, of Mogeha and Nicholastown. His son, Piers, was of Ballyhane and Affane, and is now represented by Mr. George Beresford Poer, of Ballyhane and Belleville, and his kinsman, Captain William Power, J.P., of Affane.
4. Knockaderry and Snowhill. The former is now extinct, but Snowhill is represented by Joseph O'Neill-Power, Esq., J.P., who, in 1869, married Elizabeth Antonia, daughter of Sir John Ennis, Bart.
5. Faithlegg, Bellevue, and Pembrokestown. These Houses are well sustained by the present representatives.
6. Rathgormyke, Kilballykiltie, Bollendysert, and Glen. These branches (of which many pages might be written) are now extinct in the male line, the last representative being Edmond Power, of Springfield, Clonmel, Esq., solicitor, who died a few years ago. In the 17th century, Nicholas Power, of Kilballykiltie, Esq., was "transplanted," with eighteen followers, and his estates confiscated. His third son, Edmond Power, of Curraghkiely, married Honora, daughter of Richard Power, of Clondonnel, Esq., as already shown, and his eldest daughter Helen married, in 1640, Walter Mansfield, of Ballinamultinagh. (the representative of that ancient family), whose descendants now are George Mansfield, Esq., of Morristown-Lattin, County Kildare, and Colonel Eustace Mansfield, of Landscape, near Clonmel.
7. Curraghbahy, Kilfane. Edmond Power, of Curraghbahy, in the Barony of Ballylanyn, [now a townland] in the County of Waterford, was the progenitor of this branch. He was a scion of the Adamstown House, which derived from that of Donoyle. His great, great grandson, John Power, of Tullamain, Esq., was aide-de-camp to Lord Clive at the Battle of Plassy. His brother, Richard Power, was a Baron of the Exchequer, and died in 1794. The son of John Power, of Tullamain, was Sir John Power, of Kilfane, created a Baronet in 1836, who is now represented by the present Baronet, his grandson, Sir Richard Power, of Kilfane. The fourth son of the first Baronet was Ambrose, the Venerable Archdeacon of Lismore, who died in 1869, deeply regretted by all classes. His son, Robert Power, Esq., is the present agent of the Duke of Devonshire, and his daughter Mary married Henry Villiers-Stuart, of Dromana, Esq., D.L. and J.P.
8. Curragheen. Of this branch little is known, save that Michael Power, of Curragheen, near Dungarvan, Esq., was father of Edmond Power, of Knockbrit, County Tipperary, J.P. for the counties of Waterford and Tipperary. He died in 1836, leaving by his wife Eleanour, daughter, of Edmond Sheehy, Esq., two sons and three daughters, viz.- (1) Michael Power, Captain 2nd West India Regiment, who died sine prole; (2) Robert Power, Captain 30th Regiment, who married Agnes, daughter of Thomas Brooke, Esq. The daughters were, Margaret, who married, first, March 7, 1804, Maurice St. Leger Farmer, Esq., of Poplar Hall, Captain of the 47th Regiment; and, secondly, on the 16th February, 1818, Charles Gardiner, Earl of Blessington, and died on the 4th June, 1849. This lady ranks among Ireland's famous women, and a most entertaining account of her appeared in the number of the Lady's pictorial newspaper for June 6th, 1891, along with a portrait The following transcript of the article will be found interesting, I have no doubt:-
Marguerite Power, Countess of Blessington, was born 1789. On both sides of the house she came of what is termed in Ireland the good old stock. Her father was Edmund Power, of Knockbrit, in the Co. of Tipperary, her mother, the daughter of Edmund Sheehy, popularly called Buck Sheehy.
Marguerite was the third child of a numerous family; in her earlier years she showed no sign of the beauty which was remarkable in the other children. She was pallid and weakly, and her delicacy, together with her extremely sensitive organisation and singular precocity of intellect, doomed her, according to the superstitions of the country, to an early grave. The atmosphere in which the frail little creature grew up was most uncongenial to the development of her mind. Her father's temper was violent, and his outbursts shook the nerves of the sickly child. Her mother, fond and devoted, was incapable of discerning her finer qualities; and her brothers and sisters, strong in health, boisterous in spirits, were unfit companions for the little sufferer. She lived in a world of her own - a world of dreams and fancies, of perpetual speculation and restless inquiry, which never met an answer. At an early age her imagination began to work, and she would entertain the other children with the tales she invented. So remarkable was her talent in this way that her parents recognised and were proud of it, and would send for her to improvise for the amusement of friends and neighbours
Meantime, bad days were coming. Mr. Power was a type of the Irishman as existed a hundred and twenty years ago - hasty in temper, extravagant in habits, fond of play, horses, wine, and revelry, inattentive to business, improvident in expenditure. Here is the picture, as given by Lady Blessington's biographer: - "A fine-looking man of imposing appearance, demonstrative in the matter of frills and ruffles, much given to white ties, and the wearing of leather breeches and top boots, his soubriquets were: "Shiver the Frills," "Beau Power," and "Buck Power," this last being the distinguishing appellation of a man of fashion."
The times were considerably out of joint in poor "Shiver the Frills" day, and it would have required a steadier head than he possessed to steer clear of the rocks and shoals which lay in the path of every Irishman. Mr. Power was a magistrate, the editor of the Clonmel Gazette, and a determined upholder of the law; he hunted rebels with ardour, and neglected his own affairs. The Gazette, which was not much read, entailed enormous expense, so did the hospitalities of Knockbrit, which were on a generous scale- the house was always full. The usual consequences followed; debts and difficulties, mortgages and foreclosures; frantic efforts at retrieving the position which plunged the unfortunate gentleman still deeper in the mire; in all this the children suffered most. In later years Lady Blessington often related the humiliations to which her father's inability to pay her and her sister's bills at the Clonmel boarding school exposed the two girls. She was taken home at fourteen, and at once introduced into such society as Tipperary afforded. The town was very gay. Weekly assemblies called coteries were given at the Courthouse, and well attended by the county families, who would drive in for these entertainments. Here, too, would come the English officers who commanded the troops sent over to keep the rebels in order; these Saxons, as is always the case, fell victims to the dangerous charms of the Irish fair ones. The 97th Regiment was at this time quartered in Tipperary, and two of the officers, Captain Farmer and Major Murray, were speedily attracted by Marguerite, who had quite outgrown her childish delicacy, and was more fascinating than her beautiful sister Ellen. Farmer was the best looking, but Marguerite preferred Murray. What followed is hardly creditable. The two men proposed for this mere child - she was barely fifteen - and her parents forced her to marry the one she disliked, because he was the richest. The result of this marriage was lamentable. Marguerite was too young to play the hypocrite. She made no attempt to conceal the aversion she had to the husband forced upon her. Captain Farmer, on his side, was exacting, jealous and his temper so violent as to be beyond all control. The most terrible scenes took place. He would beat her until the poor child was black and blue from his blows, then lock her up, and leave her without food or fire. At last she managed to escape from this half-madman, and returned to her father's house. Here she was not much better treated. Her sister Ellen, who had not relished that her junior should be the first to marry, now imagined that Marguerite's attractions were interfering with a wealthy suitor, who, before the appearance of the young beauty, had seemed on the point of proposing. She laid her complaint before Mr. Power, who at once took her side and ordered Marguerite to leave his house. She would not, however, return to her husband, but persuaded her brother Michael to accompany her to London, where she established herself in a small house in Manchester Square. Here she soon found many friends, and her beauty and talents began to be talked about. The fashionable painter Lawrence painted her portrait; her charms were sung by the Poet Rogers. She had hosts of admirers; foremost among them was a man of note, a dillettante nobleman, Lord Blessington, who had already a reputation for gallantry - his affair with the wife of Major Browne was a matter of notoriety; he had married this lady after the death of her husband, and had one daughter and a son, who died shortly after. At the time his friendship with Mrs. Farmer began, he was recently a widower, and there was little doubt that he was a dangerous visitor for so young and unprotected a woman. At this moment, however, Captain Farmer most opportunely died suddenly, and the wicked tongues who were beginning to chatter were silenced. As soon as propriety would permit, Lord Blessington made the beautiful widow his countess. They were married in 1817.
Now began a halcyon time for Marguerite; the adored wife of a man who loved her, she should have been happy. She was twenty-eight years old; in the very perfection of that radiant beauty which derived its power over men's minds, not from regularity of feature or charm of colouring, but from the influence of intelligence. One great charm she had in common with Emma Lady Hamilton and Mrs. Jordan, the instant a joyous thought took possession of her min; it was transmitted, as if by electrical agency, to her face. The girlish joyousness of her laugh - "eclats of Jordan-like mirth; petits vives folatres" - added to her fascination. And her voice! One who knew her said, "With all her beauty and all her talent, the witchery of her voice seemed to me her most exquisite attraction."
The Countess of Blessington's sisters were: - Elenour, who married Charles Manners Sutton, Viscount of Canterbury; and Mary Anne, who married, in 1831, the Count of St. Marsault.
Addenda and Corrigenda.
The surname of the family under our notice has been found variously spelled in the records viz.: - Pou-caer, Pou-kaer, Poher, Pohaer, Puher, Pouer, Poer, Poore, Poyer, Le Poer, de le Power, de la Poer, and Power.
In the early part of this memoir, it is stated that four of the name of Poher came to Ireland in Henry II.'s reign; but another may be added - namely, Philip le Poher, who, in "Chartae Privilegiae et Immunitatis Hiberniae," page 2, is mentioned as a witness to a deed in 1177. Simon de Poher, one of the five, married Margaret de Cogan. Her name was omitted in the account of him.
Page 11, col.. 2, line 39, under John de Poer, fifth Baron of Donoyle, after the words "his father's death," add: - "In 1301, John de Poher, Baron of Donoyle, sued Peter de Tonney for waste and destruction, and dilapidation to the Castle of Donoyle, done during his minority, and also for waste and destruction at Tramore, part of the Manor of Donoyle."
Page 12, col.2, line 16, after "aided by the O'Driscolls," add: - "For four centuries the port of Waterford had ceased to be a resort, and, perhaps, even a nest of pirates; but its shipping was sometimes the prey of sea-robbers, whenever piracy flourished on the wild south-western coast. The O'Driscolls, a maritime and fierce Irish clan, used their creeks and castles to shelter their own and other piratic vessels; and the trade of Waterford having often suffered at their hands, this city more than once fitted out expeditions in retaliation. The State Papers contain a curious narrative, dated April, 1538, of the treachery of Finnin O'Driscoll, Conochor his son, and Gille Duff, his base son, in seizing a Waterford ship, which they had captured when in distress; and the document describes the revenge taken by the Waterfordians. But this old feud was slight in comparison with the long and lasting animosity between the citizens of Waterford and the great county family of le Poer. It would seem that this enmity arose when the Lords le Poer, discarding feudal law, assumed the position of Celtic chiefs, and permitted their loose men to plunder the town traders, to make good a claim of yearly black-rent upon the city. Several interesting documents respecting the combined attack, in 1368, of the Powers and O'Driscolls, upon the citizens, and subsequent similar assaults, evidencing the settled rancour borne by the Power family to the inhabitants of their county town, are published in the Miscellany of the Celtic Society. So deadly was this animosity, that verse was enlisted into the service of the townsmen, in order to warn them of their danger, by means of a ballad, which, we are told, became a household song. Sir James Ware has this note at page 94 of Lansdowne MS., No. 418: - 'There is in this book [the Book of Ross or Waterford] a longe Discourse in Meter, putting the youth of Waterford in mind of harm taken by the Powers, and wishing them to beware for ye time to come. I have written out ye first staffe only: -
'Yong men of Waterford lernith now to plai,
For zur mercis plowis iled beth away
Scure zur hafelis yt lang habith i lei,
and fend zur of the Powers that walketh by the way for rede.
For if hi takith zou on and on
From him scapith ther never one
I swear by Christ and St. John.
That off goth zur hede.
Now hi walkith, &c.'
It is a pity Sir James Ware did not copy the entire Discourse, as the original is now lost. The second line, commencing 'For zur mercis,' means, 'For your mares and ploughs are lead away,' and the third line, 'secure your oats that lieth too long in the field.'" - (Presentments of Irish Grievances, temp. Hen. VIII.,
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